How big fossil fuel companies avoid taxes

For all the environmental and climate destruction wrought by the fossil fuel industry here in Australia, you’d think there must be a significant payback through taxes, right?

Well, sadly, there are ways for massive fossil fuel companies to minimise their tax bills in Australia, and these companies are adept at taking advantage of tax avoidance methods.

Just check out the table below, which shows 57 fossil fuel companies, with a combined annual Australian revenue of $60 billion, that haven’t paid a cent in tax in the last two years!

What makes this even harder to swallow is the whopping salaries these companies’ CEOs take home, while destroying our environment and contributing nothing to the Australian public purse.

 
Company2014-15 Revenue2014-15 Taxable Income2014-15 Tax Payable2013-14 Revenue2013-14 Taxable Income2013-14 Tax PayableSector
TOTAL$59,677m$263m$0$63,964m$367m$0
EXXONMOBIL AUSTRALIA PTY LTD$8,464m$0$0$9,617m$0$0Oil & Gas
ENERGYAUSTRALIA HOLDINGS LTD$7,302m$0$0$8,843m$52m$0Utilities
MITSUBISHI DEVELOPMENT PTY LTD$4,830m$0$0$4,615m$0$0Coal
ANGLO AMERICAN AUSTRALIA LIMITED$3,605m$32m$0$3,541m$158m$0Coal
CHEVRON AUSTRALIA HOLDINGS PTY LTD$3,088m$0$0$3,032m$0$0Oil & Gas
PEABODY AUSTRALIA HOLDCO PTY LTD$2,783m$0$0$3,020m$0$0Coal
PUMA ENERGY (AUSTRALIA) HOLDINGS PTY LTD$2,682m$0$0$2,449m$0$0Oil & Gas
CONOCOPHILLIPS AUSTRALIA GAS HOLDINGS PTY LTD$1,709m$113m$0$1,851m$82m$0Oil & Gas
YANCOAL AUSTRALIA LTD$1,693m$0$0$1,592m$0$0Coal
ALINTA POWER CAT PTY LTD$1,575m$0$0$1,699m$0$0Utilities
AUSTRALIAN PIPELINE TRUST$1,504m$14m$0$1,356m$13m$0Utilities
GLENCORE AUSTRALIA INVESTMENT HOLDINGS PTY LTD$1,482m$0$0$1,075m$0$0Coal
VICTORIA POWER NETWORKS PTY LTD$1,440m$0$0$1,432m$0$0Utilities
MARUBENI AUSTRALIA LIMITED$1,384m$0$0$2,327m$48m$0Oil & Gas
BANPU AUSTRALIA CO. PTY LTD$1,160m$0$0$1,053m$0$0Coal
INTERNATIONAL POWER (AUSTRALIA) HOLDINGS PTY LTD$1,133m$0$0$1,206m$0$0Utilities
WHITEHAVEN COAL LIMITED$1,079m$0$0$1,041m$0$0Coal
ALINTA HOLDINGS$1,030m$0$0$810m$0$0Utilities
CLERMONT COAL MINES LTD$972m$0$0$1,065m$0$0Coal
AUSDRILL LTD$722m$0$0$751m$5m$0Oil & Gas
WARKWORTH COAL SALES LTD$657m$2m$0$735m$2m$0Coal
UNITED ENERGY DISTRIBUTION HOLDINGS PTY LTD$647m$0$0$605m$0$0Utilities
AGL GENERATION HOLDCO PTY LTD$612m$0$0$1,151m$0$0Utilities
FLINDERS POWER HOLDINGS GMBH$463m$0$0$369m$0$0Utilities
AUSTRALIA PACIFIC LNG PTY LTD$415m$0$0$481m$0$0Oil & Gas
ENERGY RESOURCES AUSTRALIA LTD$414m$0$0$385m$0$0Utilities
MILLER POHANG COAL COMPANY PTY LTD$402m$0$0$458m$0$0Coal
BG INTERNATIONAL (AUST) PTY LIMITED$397m$0$0$122m$0$0Oil & Gas
MIDDLEMOUNT COAL PTY LTD$383m$0$0$345m$0$0Coal
NCIG HOLDINGS PTY LIMITED$358m$0$0$641m$0$0Coal
TOKYO GAS AUSTRALIA PTY LTD$355m$0$0$259m$0$0Oil & Gas
ADANI ABBOT POINT TERMINAL HOLDINGS PTY LTD$350m$0$0$268m$0$0Coal
QCOAL PTY LTD$337m$0$0$294m$0$0Coal
BRAEMAR POWER PROJECT PTY LTD$310m$0$0$215m$0$0Utilities
PREMIER COAL HOLDINGS PTY LTD$303m$0$0$291m$0$0Coal
PERTH ENERGY PTY LTD$275m$0$0$300m$0$0Utilities
DRILLSEARCH ENERGY LIMITED$274m$56m$0$389m$4m$0Oil & Gas
KUWAIT PETROLEUM AVIATION (AUSTRALIA) PTY LIMITED$270m$0$0$314$0$0Oil & Gas
KANSAI ELECTRIC POWER AUSTRALIA PTY LTD$223m$46m$0$116m$0$0Oil & Gas
ARROW ENERGY HOLDINGS PTY LTD$208m$0$0$293m$0$0Oil & Gas
BM ALLIANCE COAL OPERATIONS PTY LTD$200m$0$0$511m$0$0Coal
J-POWER AUSTRALIA PTY. LTD.$189m$0$0$215m$2m$0Coal
AUSTRALIAN GAS NETWORKS LIMITED$180m$0$0$555m$0$0Utilities
SPARK INFRASTRUCTURE HOLDINGS NO 2 PTY LIMITED$176m$0$0$214m$0$0Utilities
WEATHERFORD AUSTRALIA PTY LTD$160m$0$0$151m$0$0Oil & Gas
CLICK ENERGY GROUP HOLDINGS PTY LTD$155m$0$0$126m$0$0Utilities
SENEX ENERGY LIMITED$154m$0$0$220m$0$0Oil & Gas
AWE LIMITED$152m$0$0$201m$0$0Oil & Gas
QENERGY LIMITED$139m$0$0$130m$0$0Utilities
SAVANNA ENERGY SERVICES PTY LTD$139m$0$0$112m$0$0Oil & Gas
BLUEWATERS POWER 1 PTY LTD$139m$0$0$194m$0$0Utilities
ENI AUSTRALIA BV$132m$0$0$321m$0$0Oil & Gas
INPEX TIMOR SEA LTD$108m$0$0$139m$0$0Oil & Gas
JX NIPPON OIL & GAS EXPLORATION (AUSTRALIA) PTY LTD$106m$0$0$121m$1m$0Oil & Gas
ASHTON COAL MINES LIMITED$103m$0$0$151m$0$0Coal
BLUEWATERS POWER 2 PTY LTD$156m$0$0$197m$0$0Utilities
Company2014-15 Revenue2014-15 Taxable Income2014-15 Tax Payable
TOTAL$59,677m$263m$0
EXXONMOBIL AUSTRALIA PTY LTD$8,464m$0$0
ENERGYAUSTRALIA HOLDINGS LTD$7,302m$0$0
MITSUBISHI DEVELOPMENT PTY LTD$4,830m$0$0
ANGLO AMERICAN AUSTRALIA LIMITED$3,605m$32m$0
CHEVRON AUSTRALIA HOLDINGS PTY LTD$3,088m$0$0
PEABODY AUSTRALIA HOLDCO PTY LTD$2,783m$0$0
PUMA ENERGY (AUSTRALIA) HOLDINGS PTY LTD$2,682m$0$0
CONOCOPHILLIPS AUSTRALIA GAS HOLDINGS PTY LTD$1,709m$113m$0
YANCOAL AUSTRALIA LTD$1,693m$0$0
ALINTA POWER CAT PTY LTD$1,575m$0$0
AUSTRALIAN PIPELINE TRUST$1,504m$14m$0
GLENCORE AUSTRALIA INVESTMENT HOLDINGS PTY LTD$1,482m$0$0
VICTORIA POWER NETWORKS PTY LTD$1,440m$0$0
MARUBENI AUSTRALIA LIMITED$1,384m$0$0
BANPU AUSTRALIA CO. PTY LTD$1,160m$0$0
INTERNATIONAL POWER (AUSTRALIA) HOLDINGS PTY LTD$1,133m$0$0
WHITEHAVEN COAL LIMITED$1,079m$0$0
ALINTA HOLDINGS$1,030m$0$0
CLERMONT COAL MINES LTD$972m$0$0
AUSDRILL LTD$722m$0$0
WARKWORTH COAL SALES LTD$657m$2m$0
UNITED ENERGY DISTRIBUTION HOLDINGS PTY LTD$647m$0$0
AGL GENERATION HOLDCO PTY LTD$612m$0$0
FLINDERS POWER HOLDINGS GMBH$463m$0$0
AUSTRALIA PACIFIC LNG PTY LTD$415m$0$0
ENERGY RESOURCES AUSTRALIA LTD$414m$0$0
MILLER POHANG COAL COMPANY PTY LTD$402m$0$0
BG INTERNATIONAL (AUST) PTY LIMITED$397m$0$0
MIDDLEMOUNT COAL PTY LTD$383m$0$0
NCIG HOLDINGS PTY LIMITED$358m$0$0
TOKYO GAS AUSTRALIA PTY LTD$355m$0$0
ADANI ABBOT POINT TERMINAL HOLDINGS PTY LTD$350m$0$0
QCOAL PTY LTD$337m$0$0
BRAEMAR POWER PROJECT PTY LTD$310m$0$0
PREMIER COAL HOLDINGS PTY LTD$303m$0$0
PERTH ENERGY PTY LTD$275m$0$0
DRILLSEARCH ENERGY LIMITED$274m$56m$0
KUWAIT PETROLEUM AVIATION (AUSTRALIA) PTY LIMITED$270m$0$0
KANSAI ELECTRIC POWER AUSTRALIA PTY LTD$223m$46m$0
ARROW ENERGY HOLDINGS PTY LTD$208m$0$0
BM ALLIANCE COAL OPERATIONS PTY LTD$200m$0$0
J-POWER AUSTRALIA PTY. LTD.$189m$0$0
AUSTRALIAN GAS NETWORKS LIMITED$180m$0$0
SPARK INFRASTRUCTURE HOLDINGS NO 2 PTY LIMITED$176m$0$0
WEATHERFORD AUSTRALIA PTY LTD$160m$0$0
CLICK ENERGY GROUP HOLDINGS PTY LTD$155m$0$0
SENEX ENERGY LIMITED$154m$0$0
AWE LIMITED$152m$0$0
QENERGY LIMITED$139m$0$0
SAVANNA ENERGY SERVICES PTY LTD$139m$0$0
BLUEWATERS POWER 1 PTY LTD$139m$0$0
ENI AUSTRALIA BV$132m$0$0
INPEX TIMOR SEA LTD$108m$0$0
JX NIPPON OIL & GAS EXPLORATION (AUSTRALIA) PTY LTD$106m$0$0
ASHTON COAL MINES LIMITED$103m$0$0
BLUEWATERS POWER 2 PTY LTD$156m$0$0
JOIN THE CAMPAIGN!

Avoidance methods

One of the major ways fossil fuel companies minimise or avoid their tax bills is by shifting profits offshore via parent or subsidiary companies.

As tax is paid on profit, rather than revenue, companies can structure themselves so that the bulk of profits are eventually recorded by a subsidiary or parent company that is registered in low- or no-tax nations (tax havens).

To learn more about tax avoidance and take action to stamp it out, head to taxjustice.org.au.

Fossil fuel companies are also able to take advantage of a range of tax breaks that encourage the production or consumption of fossil fuels.

Click here to find out more about the tax-based fossil fuel subsidies that cost us $10 billion each year.

PRRT

The Petroleum Resource Rent Tax (PRRT) is the major tax system for oil and gas production in Australia. It is paid based on profits, once those profits reach above a set threshold.

With Australia’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) set to become one of Australia’s biggest exports in the next few years, analyses have shown the PRRT will fail to collect any new revenue from the sector for decades.

This equates to something of a ‘free ride’ for Australia’s dirty LNG industry, encouraging expansion when we desperately need to shrink the highly emissions intensive industry.

The Australian Government and Senate are currently undertaking inquiries into the PRRT system.

You can learn more and have your say by visiting taxjustice.org.au/prrt